Looking for an easy and delicious plant-based recipe? ↓
When pasta company Banza emailed me asking if I would like to participate in their new plant-based ingredients only recipe contest, of course I said yes! They kindly mailed me a box of cavatappi pasta (full disclosure: also some coupons for free pasta boxes).
So how do you build a meal with plant-based only ingredients? The same way you would with other meals, by including all three of the macronutrients: fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Banza pasta is unlike other pastas in that it is made from chickpeas, so it is a great source of plant protein (25 g per 305 oz serving) and fiber.
I almost resorted to store-bought dressing for this dish, but I am always trying to branch out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. It occurred to me that I could try making a balsamic vinegar reduction as the pasta sauce. To add more flavor, I also added some chopped thyme. The results: I LOVED the balsamic reduction. YUM! Threw in some roasted veggies and the dish felt complete!
- 8 oz (1 box) Banza pasta
- 5 mini red peppers
- 1 lb of asparagus
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp fresh finely chopped thyme
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Chop red pepper and asparagus to desired sizes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and add veggies.
- Top veggies with salt, pepper, and avocado oil. Mix well and roast in oven for about 20 min.
- While the veggies are in the oven, cook pasta according to pasta directions. Drain and set aside.
- To make the balsamic reduction, add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and copped thyme to a sauce pan. Heat and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. *keep a close eye on the vinegar as it cooks and be careful not to inhale too much of it as it is reducing*
- Once the balsamic vinegar mixture has reduced to half of the volume it originally was, scoop some up with a spoon and check to see if the liquid sticks to the back of the spoon. If it does, it’s ready. If not, simmer until it does.
- Combine all prepped ingredients together and mix well. Enjoy!